TEN HUNGRY TURKEYS

Ten turkeys invited to a Thursday luncheon decide, one by one, that attending might not be such a great idea.

The anthropomorphic turkeys are initially thrilled at Mr. and Mrs. Byrd’s invitation and accept enthusiastically. But reservations arise early on: “TEN hungry turkeys were on their way to lunch / when one turkey said, ‘Uh oh, I have a hunch. / I know we thought this would be fun, / but something just feels wrong. / Please don’t be mad, / ’cause I feel bad. / I just can’t come along.’ ” When they bump into two families—three stereotypical American Indians bearing a platter of corn and three stereotypical Pilgrims bearing a roast fowl—another turkey drops out. And so it goes, Balsley’s rhyme never faltering (though it may need some rehearsal at first), as turkey after turkey expresses ever more explicit qualms about the Byrds’ menu and decides not to attend. Finally just one turkey’s left to happily accept yams from Mrs. Byrd, who is revealed to be yet another anthropomorphic turkey. Richard dresses her turkeys in outfits that range from a biker vest to a pink cardigan; although they are nominally individuated, it’s hard to tell from the compositions which turkey is speaking until the page is turned and readers must figure out which one is missing.

A side dish at best . (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4556-2235-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pelican

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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